The public praise comes as the NRA prepares to host its annual convention in Indianapolis for the third time.
INDIANAPOLIS — Days before the NRA convention descends on Indianapolis and one day after a mass shooting in Louisville, Indiana’s Republican lawmakers passed a resolution honoring the National Rifle Association and its CEO, Wayne LaPierre.
All but two Republican senators – Greg Walker and Chip Perfect – signed the resolution.
The public praise comes as the NRA prepares to host its annual convention in Indianapolis for the third time. Around 70,000 people are expected to attend the event at the Indiana Convention Center downtown.
VisitIndy says hotels are nearly sold out and the convention, the fourth largest in Indianapolis, is expected to generate $36.4 million in economic impact.
Former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence are among the speakers.
On Tuesday, Republican state senators gave LaPierre a certificate of gratitude, in addition to the resolution.
“I want to personally thank you for your service and dedication promoting the second amendment rights of our citizens not only in Indiana but across the United States of America,” said Sen. Jim Tomes, R-District 49.
But the resolution, and especially its timing, is also getting serious scrutiny.
It comes days after a school shooting killed three adults and three children in Nashville, Tennessee and 24 hours after five lives were lost to gunfire in at a bank in Louisville.
Moms Demand Action members, who learned of the resolution late Tuesday morning, came to the Statehouse to protest. They call lawmakers’ actions beyond tone deaf.
“We felt we had to show up to say, ‘No, no, not in our house,'” said Cathy Weinmann with Moms Demand Action. “One day after a mass shooting in neighboring Kentucky in Louisville, they have the audacity, the audacity to stand on the floor of our Senate in our Statehouse and honor the organization that far and away is most responsible for the proliferation of guns in our country. I couldn’t just stay home and say, ‘Oh well.’ It is disrespectful. It’s arrogant. It’s really a painful reminder to all of the gun violence survivors in the state of Indiana and beyond, that the Republican Party in the state of Indiana doesn’t care.”
13News asked LaPierre directly about the criticism.
“We think all the federal gun laws ought to be enforced and we could dramatically reduce crime in America and the NRA is for that and we will put all the resources needed behind that,” he responded.
“They choose guns over people every time,” Weinmann said, “We’re just here to call it out.”
Protests are expected this weekend as well, as NRA members and high-powered politicians come to Indy.